Archaeology


The area around Fuente Nueva and Venta Micena has a number of interesting archaeological sites. The latter village has a dig where the alleged piece of human skull was found, known as the 'Hombre de Orce'. This fragment can now be seen in the Orce museum, which is housed in the beautiful Palacio de los Segura in the centre of the town. The find is believed to date back to man's earliest arrival in Europe. The region contained a vast prehistoric lake, and it is believed that early man made his home on its shores. The site of the dig is within walking distance of the accommodation. There is a further dig at the Barranco Leon, between the village and the town of Orce. The museum also contains the remains of a sabre tooth tiger and a mammoth, among other exhibits.

 

South of the village, the prehistoric flint mines in the Sierra de Orce are worth a visit, if only for the spectacular views both north and south from the mountain ridge where the open cast mines are situated.

 

To the East, close to the town of Velez Blanco, just over the provincial border in Almeria, the famous symbol of that province, the 'Indalo' man, can be found in rock paintings on a cliff face above the road. Guided visits to see the paintings are available most days of the year. The paintings include various animals and other symbols, as well as 'Indalo' figures, and the steep climb rewards you with fine views.

 

Close to the nearby village of Galera to the West, there are two sites of archaeological interest. Between Galera and Orce is the Necropolis of Tutugi, which contains a large number of Iberian tombs dating from between 700 and 300 BC. And a little further West is the dramatically sited Castellon Alto, a late Bronze Age terraced village, once home to the El Argar people. Galera also boasts an archaeological museum.

 

Just off the main road to Guadix can be found the vast complex of megalithic tombs at Gorafe. This site contains over a hundred burial chambers scattered along the edge of a dramatic gorge.